Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – The Australian Pontifical Mission Societies (Catholic Mission), on International Women’s Day (March 8), celebrates the role women play in securing peace and social progress in our world. “We celebrate the far-reaching contribution women make to the social fabric through their work, their nurturing and caring,” said Catholic Mission’s National Director, Martin Teulan in a statement sent to Fides. “In developing countries Catholic Mission works with disadvantaged women and girls to support their equality and active participation in society. We assist them to reach fullness of life through faith formation, literacy and numeracy, and their desire for economic opportunities through access to skilled jobs and careers.” said Mr Teulan.
One of the more involved ambassadors of Catholic Mission Australia on women's issues is Nurse Pasipanodya who was born in east Zimbabwe and forced to leave her Country. Nurse is a teacher and strong advocate for the education of girls in the developing world. In Australia she has been a key organiser for social groups, including a choir, for the expatriate Zimbabwean community. She was a founding member of the local Zimbabwean Catholic Community and the Zimbabwean Catholic Women’s League and a youth group. She also started a charity to assist HIV/AIDS sufferers in Zimbabwe.
The wisdom of deep faith is another attribute Nurse imparts: “God is such a power in our life. People have to learn to stop and listen. Situations and problems are so overwhelming if you don’t listen to the greater power of God. But if you take the time to listen, to pray, you will remember the places you have been before and you will find within you the power to endure and overcome.”
“For International Women’s Day, it is women like Nurse we need to celebrate,” said Mr Teulan. In 160 countries around the world Catholic Mission funds projects specifically to enable and empower women to take charge of their own lives. In Zimbabwe in 2010 Catholic Mission directly helped 10,286 AIDS orphans and vulnerable children, including resourcing the education of girls who would otherwise be unable to attend school. (AP) (2/3/2011 Agenzia Fides)